I know everyone out there has been hearing about the shutdown and here is a look at how a shutdown will work, which parts of the government will close, and which parts of the economy might be affected. So, lets look at what services are going to be affected by the government shutdown as of 01 October 2013. This is only a partial list with short descriptions of each area affected. If you would like more information then I highly recommend doing an internet search or contact your Congressman because asking me won’t yield any more information beyond what you read here. I just thought I would share the information I have read and found with all of you. This is, of course, only about 10% of the information one can find and there is much more “commentary” to be sought out and read. Now that I have went out and read a multitude of information I can tell y’all that I’m real disappointed in our Government and the games they play. Everything the Government does affects you and I at some level or another. Based on that alone it makes me wonder why the American people are treated like dirt when the Government can’t play well together. I hold no political party near and dear to my heart and don’t write this post with a slant towards or away from any particular side. I write this post as an American citizen, a taxpayer, and a father. My concerns go beyond either side wanting to take their toys and go home, my concerns are here because stupid shit like this make us as a country vulnerable and really makes us look stupid in the world’s eye. I know what the world thinks of the United States of America means very little to most people, but I still care.
About 800,000 federal employees are not furloughed and will not be paid. Already hit hard by several unpaid furlough days caused by sequestration this year some workers have begun lobbying to receive back pay in the event of a shutdown. While Congress agreed to retroactively pay them during previous shutdowns, the fractured nature of this Congress makes such a step unlikely.
- The military’s 1.4 million active-duty personnel will stay on duty, but their paychecks initially faced a threat of delay. Amid the division, the House passed – and Obama signed – a bill to ensure their checks would still be delivered on time. “You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we’re seeing in Congress,” Obama said.
- About half of the Defense Department’s civilian employees are furloughed.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are facing a reduced ability to detect and investigate disease outbreaks. The annual influenza program – the one that tracks the flu and helps people get flu shots – has been shut down. The CDC has also stopped offering its usual assistance to state and local authorities, who rely on the agency for help in tracking unusual outbreaks.
- The National Institutes of Health will continue to treat patients at its hospital center, but no new clinical trials will begin.
- None of our live animal cams will broadcast during the shutdown. The cams require federal resources, primarily staff, to run and broadcast. — National Zoo (October 1, 2013)
- The animals at the National Zoo are being cared for, but the zoo, like all Smithsonian museums, is closed to the public. The live animal cams have been shut down. That’s right, Congress’ inability to reach a deal means no more panda cam, America.
- NASA will furlough almost all of its employees, though it will continue to keep workers at Mission Control in Houston and elsewhere to support the International Space Station, where two Americans and four others are deployed. The National Weather Service will keep forecasting weather and issuing warnings, and the National Hurricane Center will continue to track storms.
- Federal air traffic controllers will remain on the job and airport screeners will keep funneling passengers through security checkpoints, though some airports have warned of delays at security. Federal inspectors will continue enforcing safety rules.
- The State Department will continue processing foreign applications for visas and US applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Embassies and consulates overseas will continue to provide services to American citizens.
- Federal courts will continue operating normally for about 10 business days after the start of a shutdown, roughly until the middle of October. If the shutdown continues, the judiciary would have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. But cases will continue to be heard.
- The US supreme court is scheduled to begin its new term on October 7. In previous government shutdowns, it continued to operate as normal.
- Deliveries will continue as usual because the US Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.
District of Columbia
- The city, which does not have autonomy over its own budget, briefly flirted with the idea of using the potential shutdown to make a stand when mayor Vince Gray moved to designate all city employees “essential,” thereby avoiding the cuts in services like libraries that were expected. Some District politicians were willing to go so far as to get arrested over the show of defiance, but on Friday the city’s lawyers approved using a $144m contingency fund to make up the difference when the federal government funds dry up.
- Weddings, however, are on hold in the city.
- The majority of the Department of Homeland Security’s employees will stay on the job, including uniformed agents and officers at the country’s borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers. US Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will continue to process green card applications.
- Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue because lawmakers approve money one year in advance for the VA’s health programs. Veterans will still be able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, get mental health counseling at vet centers or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Operators will still staff the crisis hotline and claims workers will still process payments to cover disability and pension benefits.
- But those veterans appealing the denial of disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals will have to wait longer for a decision because the board will not issue any decisions during a shutdown.
- Some key benefits will continue and the VA hospitals will remained open. But many services will be disrupted. The Veterans Benefits Administration will be unable to process education and rehabilitation benefits. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals will be unable to hold hearings.
- What’s more, if the shutdown lasts for more than two or three weeks, the Department of Veterans Affairs has said that it may not have enough money to pay disability claims and pension payments. That could affect some 3.6 million veterans.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development will not be able to provide local housing authorities with additional money for housing vouchers. The nation’s 3,300 public housing authorities will also stop receiving payments, although most of these agencies have enough cash on hand to provide rental assistance through the end of October.
- The Department of Homeland Security will no longer operate its E-Verify program, which means that businesses will not be able to check on the legal immigration status of prospective employees during the shutdown.
- Although agencies like the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency will continue their operations, the Justice Department will suspend many civil cases for as long as the government is shut down.
Parks & Museums
- The National Park Service will close more than 400 national parks and museums, including Yosemite National Park in California, Alcatraz in San Francisco, and the Statue of Liberty in New York. The last time this happened during the 1995-96 shutdown, some 7 million visitors were turned away. (One big exception was the south rim of the Grand Canyon, which stayed open only because Arizona agreed to pick up the tab.)
- The Environmental Protection Agency will close down almost entirely during a shutdown, save for operations around Superfund sites. Many of the Labor Department’s regulatory offices will close, including the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (The Mine Safety and Health Administration will, however, stay open.)
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees the vast U.S. derivatives market, will largely shut down. A few financial regulators, however, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, will remain open.
- The Social Security Administration will retain enough staff to make sure the checks keep going out. But the agency won’t have enough employees to do things like help recipients replace their benefit cards or schedule new hearings for disability cases.
Visas & Passports
- The State Department says it will keep most passport agencies and consular operations open so long as it has the funds to do so, although some activities might be interrupted. (For instance, “if a passport agency is located in a government building affected by a lapse in appropriations, the facility may become unsupported.”)
Parts of the information gathered and re-used here today came from The Guardian and was used without their permission. Other parts of information were gathered and re-used today here from the Washington Post and was used without their permission. The pictures were borrowed from the internet using a Google search. As far as everything else, well, I guess that all belongs to yours truly.